CH & FC recorded their first win of the Dialog Rugby League season curtesy a last gasp try from Chathura Dilshan and a conversion from an acute angle from Samuel Maduwantha, as the Gymkhana lads defeated arch rivals Navy Sports Club 23-21 at Racecourse to kick off the final week’s fixtures for 2019.
Both teams made six changes coming into this game with pivot Samuel Maduwantha and loose-forward Niwanka Prasad returning to the starting XV for the home side while captain Richie Dharmapala recovered from a groin injury to take his place at halfback.
Navy kicked off proceedings under gloomy skies at the Course as the two sides locked horns in search of their first win of the season.
The first 10-minutes of the game was a stop-start affair as both teams took time to find their feet.
Navy’s indiscipline got the better of them as returning Maduwantha was on target from his first kick at goal, minutes after Navy fullback Isuru Kongahawatta missed a tricky penalty from the end of his kicking range. (CH 03-00 Navy)
Assuming kicking duties from Kongahawatta, Chathura Senevirathne slotted over from in front as the CH scrum folded under pressure from the visiting forwards. (CH 03-03 Navy)
Both teams swung the ball from side to side, however, failed to make inroads as the stop-start game failed to get going.
Samuel and Chathura traded penalties as ill-discipline at the breakdown meant both teams moved to 6-all, however, neither team was able to break their opposition down until the final moments of the first half. (CH 06-06 Navy)
Chathura Senevirathne was at the centre of it all for Navy, this time making a break from near the half way line, beating 4 defenders, before popping a basketball pass to supporting Seru Cavuilati as the Fiji five-eighth scored his first try of the Dialog Rugby League season.
Isuru Kongahawatta made no mistake with the extras from under the post as the visitors went into the break with a 7-point lead.
Half Time: CH & FC 06 (2P) train Navy Sports Club 13 (1T 1C 2P)
With plenty left to do, CH got off to the worst possible start in the second half, conceding 3-points as indiscipline continued to let them down. Chathura added to his tally, nudging over from in front to stretch the visitors’ lead further. (CH 06-16 Navy)
The home team continued to fail in attack as the visitors piled on the pressure, leaving the CH lads scratching their heads in search of answers.
Seru Cavuilati doubled his and his teams try tally with his second of the game, this time, coming around the corner of the scrum, catching his opponents off guards to dive over from 3-meters out to score.
Senevirathne failed to add the extras in uncharacteristic fashion as Navy put CH to the sword, grabbing a 15-point lead. (CH 06-21 Navy)
CH played their final Ace, bringing on replacements in hope of a turn around. Their turn-around was aided as double try scorer of the evening Seru Cavuilati was sent to the bin for a shoulder charge.
CH formed a rumbling maul, after Maduwantha kicked the resulting penalty to touch. Sudarshana Mututhantri was at hand to dive over from the tale of the maul. Maduwantha’s great game off the tee continued as his conversion pegged back the visitors, springing life back into the game. (CH 13-21 Navy)
Cavuilati returned as Navy were back to their full complement, however, a cynical infringement at the breakdown saw Radeesha Senevirathne sent to the bin, as Navy were forced to end the game a man down.
With five minutes left on the clock, Rohitha pointed at the posts, baffling the crowd. Maduwantha pierced the posts, from the resulting penalty as CH now trailed by five points. (CH 16-21 Navy)
The CH turn around was complete as Avishka Lee found Player of the Match Chathura Dilshan in space to dive over to level things with time up on the clock.
Samuel Maduwantha’s return was complete as he knocked the conversion over from an acute angle, to hand CH their first win of the season and compiling pressure on Navy Sports Club.
Full Time: CH & FC 23 (2T 2C 3P) beat Navy Sports Club 21 (2T 1C 3P)
- Dialog Viu Player of the Match: Chathura Dilshan (CH & FC)
CH & FC : Sudarshana Mututhantri 1T, Chathura Dilshan 1T, Samuel Maduwantha 2C, 3P
Navy : Seru Cavuilati 2T, Chathura Senvirathne 3P, Isuru Kongahawatta 1C